“Good news on vaccines, economy drives a sunnier view of retail at Moody’s” by Ben Unglesbee via Retail Dive

“Good news on vaccines, economy drives a sunnier view of retail at Moody’s” by Ben Unglesbee via Retail Dive

Dive Brief: Moody’s analysts see “broad-based improvement” ahead for the retail industry in 2021 as vaccinations grow and pressure from the COVID-19 pandemic eases, according to a recent report.The ratings agency lifted its industry outlook for retail to positive from stable based on a strong economic environment. Analysts now estimate operating profit to grow a “robust” 10% to 12% during the year.Those sectors hit hardest last year have some of the most room for growth, including apparel, department stores and off-price, the analysts said. Dive Insight: The Moody’s report comes on the heels of good general economic news. During the first quarter of 2021, the economy grew at an annualized rate of 6.4%, driven by consumer spending, government stimulus, residential investments and other factors, according to the Bureau of Economic Analysis. Meanwhile, the latest four-week average for jobless claims hit their lowest point since March 14, 2020, a sign that the general business environment is finally normalizing as inoculations against COVID-19 increase.  Vaccinations not only hold the promise for returning shoppers back to malls and other centers, but they can also open up the world more broadly. Office work, conferences, parties, weddings, travel, in-person school — are all poised for a comeback as COVID-19 cases decrease. And all of those things might help drive apparel and other retail spending.  It’s great news for the hardest hit retailers from the pandemic. S&P Global Ratings, for instance, raised its outlook for department store giant Macy’s this week. Analysts with S&P also cited a fast-improving economy and an expected apparel comeback in lifting the outlook for Macy’s, which was downgraded multiple times last year and posted a nearly $4...
“Retail sales explode in March as consumers use stimulus checks to spend heavily” by Jeff Cox via CNBC

“Retail sales explode in March as consumers use stimulus checks to spend heavily” by Jeff Cox via CNBC

KEY POINTS Retail sales boomed 9.8% higher in March thanks to a jump in spending at bars and restaurants as well as multiple other groups.Economists already had been expecting a gain of 6.1% as consumers received their $1,400 government stimulus checks.Jobless claims added to the good economic news, with first-time filings for unemployment insurance plunging to 576,000, easily the best week since the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic. View CNBC VIDEO by clicking link below https://player.cnbc.com/p/gZWlPC/cnbc_global?playertype=synd&byGuid=7000186441 Retail sales surge in March as consumers use stimulus checks A fresh batch of stimulus checks sent consumer purchases surging in March as the U.S. economy continued to get juice from aggressive congressional spending. Advance retail sales rose 9.8% for the month, the Commerce Department reported Thursday. That compared to the Dow Jones estimate of a 6.1% gain and a decline of 2.7% in February. Sporting goods, clothing and food and beverage led the gains in spending and contributed to the best month for retail since the May 2020 gain of 18.3%, which came after the first round of stimulus checks. A separate report showed first-time filings for unemployment insurance plunged, with the Labor Department reporting 576,000 new jobless claims for the week ended April 10. That was easily the lowest total since the early days of the Covid-19 pandemic and represented a sharp decline from the previous week’s total of 769,000. The Dow Jones claims estimate was 710,000. As the jobs picture brightened, consumers took their $1,400 stimulus checks and spent aggressively. The money came courtesy of the nearly $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan Act that Congress passed in March. The legislation...
“All 2020 quarterly Action Watch Reports are now accessible to BRA Distinguished Retail Members” by Doug Works, Executive Director of Board Retailers Association

“All 2020 quarterly Action Watch Reports are now accessible to BRA Distinguished Retail Members” by Doug Works, Executive Director of Board Retailers Association

Action Watch (BRA Supporting Vendor Partner) works with specialty retailers, brands and industry partners in the surf and skate industries to share in-depth insights and actionable data on buying patterns so that we can all make better, more informed decisions to create a stronger, more successful industry together. BRA Distinguished Retail Members are granted access to quarterly retail sales reports and other relevant Action Watch data so you will know exactly what is happening at point of sale in specialty retail. BRA Distinguished Retail Members can now access all four quarters of 2020 (password protected) Action Watch Reports via the following link: https://actionwatch.com/2020-board-retailers-association/ If you are a BRA Distinguished Retail Member but do not already have the password credentials (user name and password) needed to access these insightful reports, please email our Executive Director doug@boardretailers.org and he will reply with the appropriate credentials. We encourage you to reach out to patrik@actionwatch.com with any questions related to the data and to learn more about the Project United program for Core Retailers through Action Watch. As stated above, BRA Distinguished Retail Members can gain access to recent and historical Core Surf and Skate Shop sales reports by category as well as Action Watch Core Retailer survey results. If you are not yet a BRA Distinguished Retail Member, you can easily opt in via this super simple join form If you have already opted into Regular Retail Membership, but would like to upgrade to Distinguished Retail Membership and benefit from additional offerings including the Action Watch Reports referenced above, please email our Executive Director doug@boardretailers.org and he will reply with an invoice and...
“Report confirms outdoor recreation is crucial to national and state economies” by Andrew Weaver via SNEWS

“Report confirms outdoor recreation is crucial to national and state economies” by Andrew Weaver via SNEWS

The U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis released its annual report that lays out the importance of the outdoor recreation economy in hard data. The numbers are in.  The U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) came out with its annual report today dissecting the importance of the outdoor economy across the nation. Officially an analysis of the agency’s Outdoor Recreation Satellite Account, which measures “economic activity as well as the sales or receipts generated by outdoor recreational activities” across the country, the report laid out in clear terms just how crucial outdoor recreation remains to state economies from coast to coast. Across the board, the upshot was positive. The BEA’s report found that outdoor recreation contributed to the economies of all 50 states and accounted for 2.1 percent ($459.8 billion) of current-dollar gross domestic product and $788 billion in gross output (consumer spending) in 2019. According to a recap of the study published this morning by the Outdoor Recreation Roundtable, it is likely these figures will be even higher for 2020, given the rise in outdoor participation during the pandemic. Read more: New data shows the outdoor industry heading in the right direction Lise Aangeenbrug, executive director of OIA, said after the release of the data, “The report published today proves that together, we are a force. The industry is a vital component of national, state, and local economies, as well as an important catalyst to America’s economic recovery.” Here’s what we learned from the numbers. States that benefited most from the outdoor economy The states that saw the highest value-add from outdoor recreation as a percentage of state GDP were clustered in the Intermountain West and the Northeast, with several key outliers...
“V-shaped June recovery for US skate and surf but concerns remain” via Action Watch

“V-shaped June recovery for US skate and surf but concerns remain” via Action Watch

June 2020 US core skate and surf sales grew +15% When we first saw the preliminary June 2020 sales data for the ActionWatch US retailer panel, we had a hard time believing the results. The first set of data indicated that year-over-year sales grew by 20% or more. By the time we received all the data, the store sales for all categories increased by +15% when compared to last June. This resulted in an almost perfect V-shaped recovery after a disastrous March, an even worse April, and a promising May. Source:  Same-Store ActionWatch Panel 2019 to YTD June 2020 On the surface, this V-shaped recovery is encouraging, not just for the short-term recovery of the core surf and skate channel, but for the long-term health of the industry. While the Covid-19 pandemic forced store closures in March, April, and May, it also had a positive impact. As schools and team sports activities were shut down, kids and adults were looking for alternative ways to engage in sports while adhering to social distancing guidelines. Skateboarding not only fits this description, but is inexpensive and can be done just about anywhere. While water sports tend to require a larger investment in equipment and access to beaches, lakes, rivers, and boats, they are easy to participate in while practicing social distancing. Source: (C) 2020 Physical Activity Council (PAC Study). The PAC study is the most comprehensive study of sports participation in the USA, conducted by Sports Marketing Surveys USA – contact info@sportsmarketingsurveysusa.com. Once core stores were able to reopen, malls were still closed, and consumers received stimulus checks it represented a perfect...
“ActionWatch Shares Results From Recent Retailer Survey” with Vipe Desai via PropagandaHQ.net

“ActionWatch Shares Results From Recent Retailer Survey” with Vipe Desai via PropagandaHQ.net

We had a quick chat with Patrik Schmidle from ActionWatch where he shared key takeaways from a recent survey with retailers across the country.  Business was good for board sports retailers in 2019 and that momentum carried over to the first 2.5 months of 2020. But then the pandemic came and the industry was hit with store closures, concerns whether they would receive emergency funding, and how long could they survive. Fast forward to July and the trends show a strong recovery with hardgoods leading the way, consumers are excited to get outside and many retailers have at least 4 months of cash on hand to ride out the pandemic. Many are cautiously optimistic but are also taking safety measures to ensure survival. Highlights from this recent survey include: A large majority reported June 2020 was up vs June 2019 – half reported 26% or higher growth4th of July holiday weekend sales strong, prompting optimism through the end of July#1 action brands should take:  Have ‘open to buy’ inventory, #2 is to maintain pricing integrity3 Biggest concerns are that they have to close doors again, that they don’t have enough inventory and that the consumer stimulus endsTop 3 safety measures are more vigilant sanitation, masks for employees and masks for customers70% increased hardgoods inventory, 35% decreased apparel inventory2/3 are either at pre-COVID staffing levels or aboveMore than half have 4 months or more of cash on hand,  confident they will survive Reach out to patrik@actionwatch.com to get more details behind this survey and to learn more about the Project United program for Core Retailers through Action Watch. Be sure to visit the Propaganda HQ website to view...